It’s estimated that major kitchen home renovations can cost as much as $40,000, including brand-new appliances, cabinets, and more. If you’re looking to complete some home renovations in the near future, you might be wondering what to prioritize and how to create a home improvement checklist.
When you create a checklist, you’re able to focus on your home’s priorities while creating a budget for what each project will expect to cost. From there, you can decide which renovation to tackle first in order of importance, and which to push off.
This helpful guide walks you through the best ways to plan for your next home makeover, whether you’re looking to rip your bathroom down to the studs or simply fashion a walk-in closet with custom shelves.
Create a List of Needs
The first thing you need to do is create a “needs” list for your home improvement projects. Look for issues or irregularities within your home.
Is there a crack in your ceiling that looks suspicious? What about a sink that drains slowly, or a leaking faucet? Make a list of everything that warrants investigation —and repairs—within your house.
Create a List of Wants
The next thing you’ll create for your home renovation is a list of wants. This might include a new tile backsplash in your kitchen to accommodate a modern look or an upgraded shower head for a spa-like feel.
Be realistic with your list of wants and consider your budget and time frame for completing these projects. A complete kitchen remodel might be outside your price range, but redoing your floors or refacing your cabinets might be a more doable component of a kitchen makeover.
You can also break projects into smaller sections. If your goal is to redo your living room, for example, you can tackle paint first, then move on to flooring and lighting.
Compare Your Lists
Once you create a list of wants and needs, you’ll need to compare the two to determine which list is longer. As you evaluate your home for potential issues, you may notice that your list of needs is longer than originally anticipated.
Since your home is connected through plumbing, HVAC, and more, when you complete an item on your list of needs, you may wind up simultaneously completing an item on your list of wants. For example, if you’re looking to slowly redo your kitchen and you replace a leaking faucet, you’ll find yourself with one part of your kitchen overhaul completed.
Look for Structural Issues
If you have any type of structural repairs on your list of needs —cracks in your home’s foundation, for example—then you need to move this to the top of your list. If you’re unsure of what repairs take top priority, you should contact a home inspector to evaluate your house from top to bottom.
Home inspectors look closely at your home’s major components and systems and determine if there are underlying issues. Should they find any issues, discuss with them which ones are the most pressing and should be dealt with first —and fast.
Any potential issues that compromise the structural integrity of your home are among the most pressing.
Focus on Water Damage or Issues With Your Roof
You should also handle any repairs that might lead to potential water damage since dangerous mold can quickly grow.
This might include a leaking roof or water in your basement. Always take care of these issues before moving ahead with a home renovation project to protect your home from expensive —and extensive—water damage.
If you suspect a leaking roof, hire a professional roofer to investigate immediately. When your roof is compromised, so is everything below it.
Namely, your entire house.
Leaking roofs can swiftly damage drywall, insulation, trusses, trim, hardwood flooring, carpets, joists, paint, and more. Once you tackle any leaking roof issues, you can focus on the rest of your home repairs.
Complete Electrical System and HVAC Repairs
Once you’ve remediated any issues within your roof and taken care of potential water damage, you should focus on your electrical system and any potential repairs to your HVAC system. Even if you’re an expert DIYer, always leave electrical work to the professionals to avoid potential fires and risk of electrical shock.
After you complete repairs to your electrical system, you can begin work on your HVAC system. If it’s spring, you can have your AC unit inspected before you turn it on for the summer months.
If it’s late summer, you can have your furnace or boiler inspected in time for the winter months. Don’t delay this important step and prepare to complete any repairs an inspector finds.
If your home uses any type of gas appliances, always have your HVAC inspected to ensure you aren’t exposed to deadly carbon monoxide poisoning.
While inspecting your HVAC system, consider your heat-related needs. Do you have enough vents to adequately heat your home all season long?
If not, you can install a fireplace for added warmth. Even if your home has an ample heating supply, custom made fireplaces are an ideal choice. They add a touch of elegance —and personalization—to any home.
Preparing for Home Renovations
This essential guide will help you as you prepare for any upcoming home renovations. Remember to tackle the most pressing home repairs first and, when in doubt, hire a home inspector to give your house a once over.
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